VANCOUVER -- An unprecedented number of British Columbians are expected to vote by mail this election, and a new survey suggests there's plenty of appetite for an online voting option as well.

Three-in-five likely voters from the Research Co. poll said Elections BC should "definitely" or "probably" consider allowing online ballots in time for the next provincial election.

Only one-quarter of respondents said the province shouldn't explore that option, while about one-in-10 said they weren't sure.

There was majority support across all age groups included in the survey, though younger B.C. residents were the most likely to express interest in online voting.

Three-quarters of respondents in the 18 to 34 demographic said Elections BC should consider online ballots, compared to 57 per cent of people who are 55 and up.

There was also significant interest across party lines. A majority of people who voted BC Green, BC Liberal and BC NDP in the 2017 election all backed the idea, according to Research Co.

Past Liberal voters were the most likely to want the option explored, at 70 per cent.

Asked about the rapidly approaching Oct. 24 election, the vast majority of voters said they're confident Elections BC will be able to enforce physical distancing at polling stations (86 per cent) and ensure there's no fraudulent activity involving mailed ballots (87 per cent).

As of the last update provided on Thursday, nearly 650,000 British Columbians had requested a vote-by-mail package.

Research Co. conducted its survey online from Oct. 5 to 7 among 750 likely voters in B.C. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, according to the polling firm.